Canadian Freshwater Aquaculture Conference 2020

April 7 – 8, 2020    |    Orillia, Ontario

Don’t miss the first-ever gathering of farmers, suppliers and researchers working in Canada’s freshwater aquaculture sector — low sodium guaranteed!

Conference Program

Tuesday, April 7

  • Afternoon — Roundtable to define freshwater aquaculture challenges and priorities (all those working in freshwater aquaculture are invited to take part)
  • 3:00 – 5:00pm — Annual General Meeting for the Ontario Aquaculture Association (OAA members only)
  • 7:pm onwards — Our annual pre-conference tailgater social!

Wednesday, April 8

Conference day is open to all with an interest in freshwater aquaculture. Breakfast, lunch and social evenings are all part of the event.

  • 8:00am — Breakfast
  • 9:00am – 5:00pm — Conference day open to ALL with an interest in freshwater aquaculture.
  • 5:30 – 6:30pm — Reception
  • 7:00pm — Gala Dinner & Social Evening

Panels and presentations so far include:

Keynote Speakers

  • Chi-Naaknigewin: Understanding Indigenous governance and how it applies to aquaculture, Dawn Madahbee Leach, General Manager, Waubetek Business Development Corporation

Theme 1: Fish Health

  • Fish welfare: New considerations and the coming national code of practice for finfish
    • Rich Moccia, Professor & Director, Aquaculture Centre, University of Guelph
    • Caroline Ramsay, Code Manager, National Farm Animal Care Council
    • Penny Lawlis, Lead Auditor, Professional Livestock Auditing Inc.
  • Tools and techniques for delaying maturation in finfish, Marcia Chiasson, Manager, Alma Aquaculture Research Station
  • Veterinary perspectives on preventative health strategies,
    • Alexandra Reid, Lead Veterinarian Animal Health and Welfare, Ontario, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
    • Mykolas Kamaitis, Veterinarian, Upper Grand Veterinary Services
    • Véronique (Nikki) LePage, Veterinarian, LePage Aquatic Veterinary Services & Aquatic Animal Pathologist, Animal Health Lab, University of Guelph 

Theme 2: The Marketplace

  • The latest consumer trends in seafood, Ron Caudle, President, Caudles Catch Seafood
  • Considering feed in marketing and certification decisions, Sarah Cook, Sales Manager, Skretting North America East
  • Aquaculture in the classroom: AgScape’s new resources for teachers, Mercedes Unwin, Program and Resource Manager, AgScape

Theme 3: Technology and Science

  • Implications of intensification on water flow and energy, Dan Stechey, President, Canadian Aquaculture Systems
  • The bird feeder effect: net pens as sources of energy for wild fish populations, Neil Rooney, Associate Professor, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph
  • Technology spotlight: Deep Trekker, Andrew Lawrence, Business Development Specialist Deep Trekker
  • Understanding coho salmon, Sean Nepper, Director of Operations, Riverence
  • Technology spotlight: ME-PRO, Mark Luecke, CEO, Prairie AquaTech

Theme 4: Enabling Our People

  • Recruitment and retention: Tips, tricks and insights on getting and keeping staff, Jon Carter, Professor and Program Coordinator, Aquaculture, Fleming College and recent graduates

More to come! Do you have a session idea? Email RJ Taylor, OAA’s managing director, at

Conference Venue

Fern Resort
4432 Fern Resort Rd, Ramara, Ontario
One hour from Toronto’s Pearson Airport!

Fern Resort is family-owned, just like most of Canada’s freshwater aquaculture businesses! Known as the “Home of the Rolls & Honey”, the incredible meals, gorgeous views, fun activities and terrific service have kept guests coming back for generations.

A block of rooms has been reserved for the nights of April 7 and 8 for $189/night + resort fees.

There are also several cottages for groups of 3 – 4. To request one, email

Please see this form for reservation options.

Conference Registration

Register on Event Bee

  • Full Conference & Gala (Includes registration fee, all meals and social evening) — $229
  • Discounted Conference (For speakers and ‘Individual’ OAA members) — $179

All corporate members of the Ontario Aquaculture Association receive TWO free registrations to the conference. Please sign up all additional registrants at the discounted rate.

What’s happening to this year’s Ontario Aquaculture Association conference?

The Canadian Freshwater Aquaculture Conference is this year’s OAA conference, only bigger. For years, the annual Ontario conference has attracted fish farmers from across Canada because of our close-knit community and unique concentration of small and medium-sized farms. For 2020, we’re just making it official!

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